Differences Between Razors & Thinning Shears


A razor and thinning shears are different hair-cutting tools that can give you radically different looks. The typical razor used by stylists has a fold out design that consists of a cover and a single blade, according to Hairfinder.com, a website about hair products and hair care. Thinning shears look like regular scissors, but have two blades that look like combs.


The blade of the razor, which measures several inches long, usually has a guard to prevent the stylist from slicing herself and bleeding all over your hair. A pack of replacement blades is usually included with a basic hair-cutting razor. The number of teeth on a pair of thinning shears determines how much hair it can remove. More teeth will remove less hair, per snip. Fewer teeth with wider spaces in between cut off more hair.

Amount of Hair Removed

The makers of thinning shears tell you how much hair they will remove, which is a pretty useful bit of info. For example, shears that say "20 percent removal" will mean exactly that -- the shears will take out 20 percent of the hair between the blades with each snip. The amount of hair removed by a razor with each pass depends on how your stylist manipulates it. Delicate, shallow passes remove less hair than deep, forceful passes.


Many stylists use both types of tools to add special finishing touches. They typically do most of a cut with regular hair-cutting scissors, and use thinning shears to reduce bulk or razors to create wispy, softer, more natural effects, according to writer Cheche Moral of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Still, according to Henri Calayag of the Henri Calayag Studio, the more specialized tools can be used for the entire haircut, depending on experience of the stylist.

Additional Information

Whatever cutting tool they use, stylists agree that it should be regularly sharpened. Otherwise it will be more difficult to use and can actually damage your hair. The chances of getting a hash haircut will be less if you make sure your stylist is well-trained in using more specialized tools. Many beauty schools only allow more advanced hair-cutting students to begin using razors. The blades are very sharp, and they require more skill to handle.

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